Bastidas the last journalist to be killed by the Bastista regime in Cuba. Photo: Ismael Batista

May 13 marked 60 years since the assassination by the Batista dictatorship of Ecuadorian journalist Carlos Bastidas Argüello. The Union of Cuban Journalists (UPEC) paid tribute to him and recalled that he was last sector professional to be killed by the Batista regime on the island.

In a ceremony held on Tuesday, at the Veterans’ Pantheon Havana’s Colón cemetery, Brigadier General Delsa Esther Puebla (Teté) explained that Bastidas arrived to the Sierra Maestra aged just 23, to meet the Rebel Army.

There, she said, we took him to see our schools, he interviewed our campesinos, he went to the workshop where we made bullets. So he saw what our guerrilla really was, who Fidel was, and he fell in love with the Revolution.

Meanwhile, journalist Roberto Bastidas, nephew of Carlos, thanked UPEC for keeping the name of his uncle alive, and expressed the commitment of Cuba’s press to truth and dignity.

A plaque in memory of Bastidas was also unveiled at the José Martí International Institute of Journalism.

There, María Augusta Calle, ambassador of Ecuador to Cuba, recalled that the profession of journalism is one of the riskiest in the world. The fact that in this country, journalists are not killed, makes it a land of freedom, she stressed.

In 2017, a total of 37 journalists were murdered in Latin America, a sign of the disregard for human rights and the insecurity surrounding those in this profession.